Why is being a mom so hard? What should I do when I feel overwhelmed by kids, chores, work, and endless to-do lists? Here are 40 ideas for calming your chaos, bringing peace to your heart, and helping you love motherhood again.Read More
Welcome back! If you are just joining us, we are using the YouVersion Bible App to follow a devotional together. Read THIS POST to get all the information you need to join in and then you can read THIS MORNING'S POST to see the promises we are focusing on this week.
What did you think of the promises this week? Did you have trouble choosing a verse to focus on or did one immediately speak to you. The verse I chose is from a book that I love to pull from because it really speaks to me. Can you guess what I chose?Read More
I've been spending my mornings in Ecclesiastes and every day I'm reminded why I love this book so much. Solomon is filled with such wisdom and his words ring true, even thousands of years later. I am frequently coming across verses and passages that affirm my reason behind this blog - to find joy in the every day moments of life. Not in the big, fancy, extravagant, or well planned moments but the simple, lovely, normal moments.
Have you accepted your life as a gift from God or do you find yourself dreaming of more? Of what he has or what she is doing? I'm not saying dreaming of the future is wrong, I don't believe planning and working towards goals is wrong at all. But are they achievable dreams or are they fantasies that are taking you away from the here and now? I certainly don't want to turn around one day and realize that I've wished away my life pining after something I will never have.
I will admit that I struggle with this sometimes. I do often dream of big houses with double or triple our current square footage. I look at house plans and houses currently on the market to see what I like and don't like. I want to have a larger home because there is a good chance that our five children will each marry (then there are 10) and have children (I can't even begin to think how many grandkids we could have!) and our little house will never hold everyone for a meal or family gathering. We have trouble fitting all of us when one set of grandparents comes to visit! But focusing on these big houses with their wide open layouts and price tags that are astronomical is no way to spend my day. Instead I can be a good steward of the home God has blessed us with and be smart with our finances so that in the future we might afford a larger home (but probably not the ones I'm looking at).
These early years of parenting are rough. I got pooped on three times yesterday by the potty training twin boys. The girl goes back and forth between smothering us with kisses and screaming that we are not to talk to her. It's easy to think about the years to come when they all know how to wipe their own butts or can verbalize their emotions a little better. But every age comes with a struggle. Almost as soon as you are out of the early years with incredibly dependent children they hit the hormonal stage and you are dealing with all those changes plus the interests and struggles that come with the adolescent years. I'm so not ready for that. I want to soak up these early years and enjoy it so I'm not "brood[ing] over the past" or wishing away the years to get to the future.
It's not always easy to stay present and accept that this is life. That life is all about dishes and cooking, dirty clothes and clean clothes, snotty noses and wet diapers. But to accept it and enjoy it is a gift from God. I want that gift! I want to love this messy, insane, wild, mundane, normal, every day life, each and every day. You in?
I'm linking this up over at 152 Insights to My Soul for Three Word Wednesday.
How do you make sure you are enjoying your life and "accepting your lot"? Do you find yourself wishing away time or dreaming of impossible things instead of living the life you have?
I'm linking this up over at Kate Motaung's for Five Minute Friday. Every week a one-word writing prompt is given and writers have five minutes to share.
This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.
I feel like this is such a repeated topic for me but it's so dear to my heart that I can't stop talking about it. Finding happy right where you are. Seeing the joy in the everyday moments. In the messy, crabby, silly, overwhelming, over-touched, whatever moments that fill up your life.
That's where I want you to find happy. To pull it out and see it in all it's unglorious glory. Yeah, unglorious isn't really a word but I'm making it one.
This whole life is His, not ours. Everything before and everything to come is His. What a better way to show thanks to our Creator than to enjoy it and spread the joy that we find, no matter how that joy looks. When I share my weekly joy on Mondays it is often very simple moments. It's the kids playing playdoh or a new color of nail polish. It's going out with my friends for dinner or staying in for a movie with my husband. It's passing on baby items that I no longer need to a friend that's expecting. It's sending a card in the mail for no reason at all.
Find your happy.
I'm linking this up over at 152 Insights to My Soul.
From Kristin: #ThreeWordWednesday is simple, really. I know we're all busy with life and kids and jobs and parents and friends and church and whatever else it is that occupies our time. Some weeks I'm not sure what my post will be about, but knowing people will show up here on Wednesdays is good motivation to write something. #ThreeWordWednesday is a chance to pause and hear God. Sum up what you're hearing in three words. Those three words are enough. But stories are good too.
Enjoy this Life
I started dreading days with my kids. The same thing, every day. Cleaning, cooking, sibling fights, begging for tv - I was over it. I felt like a referee or a drill sergeant barking orders. I wasn't enjoying my time with them!
Now, I know not every day is going to be amazing or even good. I know that parenting can be hard and that there will be times when I feel drained over everything I need to get done and all the demands of young kids. But shouldn't there be some joy? Shouldn't there be some fun? I had gotten so wrapped up in managing their behavior - telling them what needed to be done, pleading with them to get along, on edge waiting for the next outburst - that I wasn't soaking up the wonderful stages that they are in.
A few weeks ago I set down my manager hat. I removed my referee whistle. I joined in the games and the fun. Instead of waiting by the sidelines to oversee them and watch for fouls and indiscretions I got in on the action. We ran in the sprinkler and wrestled in the grass. We laughed big belly laughs. We slowed down to explore and investigate.
And my heart bust with joy and broke with sadness all at the same time.
I had been so wrapped up with breaking up fights and ordering them to behave and get along that I missed these fun moments for the last several years. I haven't been as enjoyable as a mom as I could have. I've stood back, convinced that they needed to learn to play without me, instead of getting involved and making memories with them.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon writes, "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God." (Ecclesiastes 2:24). God wants us to enjoy the work we are doing! My job right now is my home and my children and that is where I should find joy - these precious gifts that have been entrusted to me from God. Yes it's hard work, it's our "own toil," but that doesn't mean there isn't good that comes from it.
I'm making it a point to find a way to really play WITH my kids each day. To take some time, even just a few minutes, to laugh, giggle, be silly, slow down, and enjoy them. And a funny thing as happened by doing this - I'm less crabby! I'm no longer barking orders. My tone has softened and my patience is greater. Being conscious of my actions for play has bled into so many other areas of my life and it's wonderful to not feel guilty at the end of the day for being the "crabby mom" once again. I don't like being that mom!
I challenge you, as a tired, worn out, stretched thin mom, to slow down, join your kids, and enjoy this life. See what they see. Find what makes them giggle and laugh right along with them. Notice what makes them light up and come along side them to discover more. Play a game, be silly, and explore their world. You won't regret it.
Do you make a point of playing with your kids or do you stand along the sidelines? Will you accept my challenge to join in? What's your favorite way to play with your kids?